Archive for February, 2009

ACRL, ALA, and ARL Will File Google Book Search Settlement Amicus Brief

Posted in ALA, ARL Libraries, Copyright, Digital Copyright Wars, Google and Other Search Engines, Mass Digitizaton, Publishing on February 27th, 2009

The American Library Association, the Association of College and Research Libraries, and the Association of Research Libraries will file an amicus brief authored by Jonathan Band about the Google Book Search Settlement.

Read more about it at "Library Organizations to File Amicus Brief in Google Book Search Settlement."

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    Frankfurt Book Fair Survey on Digitization Impacts on the Future of Publishing

    Posted in E-Books, Publishing on February 27th, 2009

    The Frankfurt Book Fair has released a press release that describes the results of a survey of over 1,000 industry professionals from over 30 countries about the impact of digitization on the future of publishing. (Thanks to HangingTogether.)

    Here's an excerpt:

    The survey also reveals that current opinion is divided on the future of the e-books and digital content versus the printed word. 40 per cent of respondents expect e-content to overtake traditional book sales as early as 2018—whereas a third predict that this will never happen.

    Perhaps more surprisingly still, almost 60 per cent of respondents do not currently use e-books and e-readers at all, and 66 per cent of industry professionals still expect traditional books to dominate the market in five years time, with very few expecting e-books (seven per cent) or e-readers (two per cent) to be the main sources of revenue by 2013.

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      The Economic Downturn and Its Impact on IT: Suggestions for EDUCAUSE Response

      Posted in Techie on February 27th, 2009

      EDUCAUSE has released The Economic Downturn and Its Impact on IT: Suggestions for EDUCAUSE Response.

      Here's an excerpt:

      • Two-thirds of respondents indicate that their institution has experienced budget cuts of an average of 7% overall. These cuts are expected to rise to 9%.
      • The average cut for IT units is the same as for the total institution (7%), with about half currently facing budget reductions.
      • Public institutions are more affected than private colleges and universities. Also, large public institutions are more likely to have cuts, and the cuts are larger compared to smaller, public institutions. Variances by FTE for private institutions were not significant.
      • CIOs report cuts more frequently than do faculty. Among faculty who report cuts, however, a larger proportion report deeper cuts, compared to the CIO respondents.
      • Most CIOs (88%) have at least some discretion in how to allocate cuts, but 61% have had mandatory restrictions. Among those without complete discretion, the most common budget reduction strategy is a hiring freeze, either through leaving positions unfilled (75%) or not hiring new positions (69%). Nearly half (43%) have travel freezes.
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        Lirolem. A Virtual Studio/Institutional Repository for the University of Lincoln

        Posted in Digital Repositories, Institutional Repositories on February 26th, 2009

        JISC has released Lirolem. A Virtual Studio/Institutional Repository for the University of Lincoln: Final Project Report.

        Here's an excerpt from the announcement:

        The primary aim of the Lirolem project was initially to build a repository capable of handling the material that was generated by the students of the Lincoln School of Architecture, with a view to using it as teaching material in future years. A second aim was to provide an Institutional Repository that was capable of handling research materials in a variety of formats. . . .

        The principal output of the project has been the establishment of the Lincoln Institutional Repository (http://eprints.lincoln.ac.uk) in which all members of the University are able to deposit material. A review process is in place, whereby members of the project team can assess the quality of submissions and either make them live in the Repository, or return them to the original author with suggestions for improvement. The Repository facilitates the deposit of full text material, or metadata only records. The public release of full text material can be embargoed for public release for a period of time to comply with publishers’ requirements, or if preferred this material can be made available to registered users of the Repository

        Other outputs have been the production of Service Usage Model Document, which describes the services that the Repository uses, the production of user guides and the production of a conference paper, which was delivered at the MACE conference in Venice, 20-21 September 2008, briefing papers for management on Open Access, interim and completion reports to JISC and a project wiki that contains all these documents which is available at http://learninglab.lincoln.ac.uk/wiki/index.php/Institutional_Repository.

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          Digital Library Jobs: Librarian—Copyright and Scholarly Communication at UT-Pan American

          Posted in Digital Library Jobs on February 26th, 2009

          The University of Texas-Pan American Library is recruiting a Librarian—Copyright and Scholarly Communication.

          Here's an excerpt from the ad:

          • Serves as the library's advisor for copyright and intellectual property issues; work as a liaison with faculty members and Copyright Clearance Center.
          • Assist with formation of UTPA scholarly communications database. Create and maintain UTPA library website for copyright issues.
          • Assist faculty in obtaining copyrights for materials stored in online classes or in the library. Work at reference desk as scheduled; Make sure updated copyright information is provided to faculty, staff and students when needed.
          • Teach some bibliographic instruction classes. Assist Library administration with information regarding the copyright issues.
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            "Publishing an E-Journal on a Shoe String: Is It a Sustainable Project?"

            Posted in Open Access, Publishing, Scholarly Journals on February 26th, 2009

            Pietro Cavaleri, Michael Keren, and Giovanni B. Ramello have made "Publishing an E-Journal on a Shoe String: Is It a Sustainable Project?" available in EconPapers. (Thanks to Open Access News.)

            Here's the abstract:

            The aim of this article is to report on an experiment in publishing an open access journal and learn from it about the larger field of open access publishing. The experiment is the launch of the European Journal of Comparative Economics (EJCE), an on-line refereed and open access journal, founded in 2004 by the European Association for Comparative Economic Studies and LIUC University in Italy. They embarked upon this project in part to respond to the rising concentration in the market for scientific publishing and the resulting use of market power to raise subscription prices and restrict access to scientific output. We had hoped that open access journals could provide some countervailing power and increase competition in the field. Our experience running a poorly endowed journal has shown that entry to the field may be easy, yet that making it a sustainable enterprise is not straightforward.

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              Long-Term Open Access Medical Journal Restricts Some Content

              Posted in Open Access, Publishing, Scholarly Journals on February 26th, 2009

              Starting with the January 2009 issue, The Journal of Clinical Investigation, which went open access in 1996, began restricting some content. Research articles, corrigenda, and erratum remain freely available. Access to other content, such as book reviews and commentary, is restricted to subscribers.

              Read more about it at "End of Free Access."

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                Automatic Metadata Generation for Repositories: MetaTools: Final Report

                Posted in Digital Repositories, Institutional Repositories, Metadata on February 26th, 2009

                JISC has released MetaTools: Final Report .

                Here's an excerpt from the announcement:

                Automatic metadata generation has sometimes been posited as a solution to the 'metadata bottleneck' that repositories and portals are facing as they struggle to provide resource discovery metadata for a rapidly growing number of new digital resources. Unfortunately there is no registry or trusted body of documentation that rates the quality of metadata generation tools or identifies the most effective tool(s) for any given task.

                The aim of the first stage of the project was to remedy this situation by developing a framework for evaluating tools used for the purpose of generating Dublin Core metadata. . . .

                A test program was then implemented using metrics from the framework. It evaluated the quality of metadata generated from 1) Web pages (html) and 2) scholarly works (pdf) by four of the more widely-known metadata generation tools—Data Fountains, DC-dot, SamgI, and the Yahoo! Term Extractor. . . .

                It was found that the output from Data Fountains was generally superior to that of the other tools that the project tested. But the output from all of the tools was considered to be disappointing and markedly inferior to the quality of metadata that Tonkin and Muller report that PaperBase has extracted from scholarly works. Over all, the prospects for generating high-quality metadata for scholarly works appear to be brighter because of their more predictable layout. . . .

                In the third stage of the project SOAP and RESTful Web Service interfaces were developed for three metadata generation tools—Data Fountains, SamgI and Kea. This had a dual purpose. Firstly, the creation of an optimal metadata record usually requires the merging of output from several tools each of which, until now, had to be invoked separately because of the ad hoc nature of their interfaces. As Web services, they will be available for use in a network such as the Web with well-defined interfaces that are implementation-independent. These services will be exposed for use by clients without them having to be concerned with how the service will execute their requests. Repositories should be able to plug them into their own cataloguing environments and experiment with automatic metadata generation under more 'real-life' circumstances than hitherto. Secondly, and more importantly (in view of the relatively poor quality of current tools) they enabled the project to experiment with the use of a high-level ontology for describing metadata generation tools.

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                  Digital Library Jobs: Head, Digital Library Production Services at Michigan

                  Posted in Digital Library Jobs on February 26th, 2009

                  The University of Michigan Library is recruiting a Head, Digital Library Production Services.

                  Here's an excerpt from the ad:

                  The Digital Library Production Service (DLPS), a part of the University of Michigan University Library, is one of the nation’s premier organizations for the creation and support of digital library resources and infrastructure, with production level support for electronic library collections. Comprised of more than 20 staff members, including librarians, programmers, and skilled technical staff, DLPS is funded primarily with a base budget for both staff and equipment, and relies on significant grant and revenue funding for a variety of new and incremental initiatives. Staff members within DLPS have responsibility for creating online access mechanisms, and for significant digital conversion activities. DLPS provides these services to the University of Michigan as well as to other institutions. DLPS staff members play a significant role in the University of Michigan Library’s work on the HathiTrust digital library and conversion related to the Google Books digitization effort. Most conversion activities are conducted through a unit within DLPS, the Digital Conversion Unit (DCU). In addition to work related to HathiTrust, one of the world’s largest digitized book and journal collections, DLPS staff support several hundred thousand rich images in visual resource collections, large collections of finding aids, and contribute to the Library’s development efforts with many other formats. DLPS is also the primary development organization for DLXS (www.dlxs.org), a leading-edge initiative for the development of a digital library access system. . . .

                  Reporting to the Associate University Librarian for Library Information Technology, the Head of DLPS manages all operational aspects of DLPS, including:

                  • Management of more than 20 FTE staff in several functional areas;
                  • Budget management across DLPS ($1.5m of combined annual base budget, grant, and revenue funds), for both personnel and vended services; includes DLXS-related budget management;
                  • General coordination or direction of Digital Conversion Unit (DCU) activities in conjunction with DCU’s manager.
                  • General strategic planning for DLPS;
                  • DLXS development, planning, and outreach;
                  • A role on the University of Michigan campus and beyond (i.e., nationally and internationally) representing the University Library's digital library efforts and capabilities and promoting appropriate adoption in those venues.
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                    Digital Library Jobs: Text Creation Partnership Project Outreach Librarian at Michigan

                    Posted in Digital Library Jobs on February 26th, 2009

                    The University of Michigan Library is recruiting a Text Creation Partnership Project Outreach Librarian (two-year term).

                    Here's an excerpt from the ad:

                    The University of Michigan Library and Oxford University Library have collaborated for several years with three corporate partners, ProQuest Information and Learning. Readex-Newsbank and Gale Cengage Learning, in an international effort to create structurally marked-up full-text transcriptions of early English and American printed books, dating from 1475 to 1800, on behalf of a large and growing academic consortium, the Text Creation Partnership (TCP). About 32,000 texts have been produced so far, towards a goal of 80,000, representing a substantial portion of the nearly 300,000 books contained in the subscription databases from which they are transcribed: Early English Books Online (EEBO), Evans Early American Imprints, and Eighteenth Century Collections Online (ECCO). ProQuest, Readex, and Gale supply the page images; Michigan and Oxford oversee the keying and SGML/XML tagging; and the partner libraries own the resulting corpus. This is arguably the largest and most significant full-text project of its kind undertaken to date, not least in that it is being done under terms that reflect the needs and values of libraries and scholars.

                    The Text Creation Partnership Project Outreach Librarian will be appointed as a Librarian (or equivalent professional classification) at the University Library and will work under the supervision of the TCP Project Director (also a librarian at the University Library). The Outreach Librarian will be housed in the Scholarly Publishing Office at the University of Michigan Library and will interact with a wide range of staff throughout the Library system. The University of Michigan is a national leader in digital library development and the Project Outreach Librarian will be working with skilled digital library and electronic publishing specialists as well as leading collection, service, and processing librarians at Michigan, Oxford, ProQuest, and the libraries funding and supporting the project.

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                      Digital Library Jobs: Digital Preservation Librarian at Michigan

                      Posted in Digital Library Jobs on February 26th, 2009

                      The University of Michigan Library is recruiting a Digital Preservation Librarian.

                      Here's an excerpt from the ad:

                      The Digital Preservation Librarian will report to the head of the Department of Preservation and Conservation. Working closely with staff in Library IT Core Services, Digital Library Production Service, the Scholarly Publishing Office, Deep Blue, Preservation, and other library units, as well as with partners at other institutions, the Digital Preservation Librarian will:

                      • Research, plan, and develop the digital preservation program for University Library collections of enduring value in digital format: review existing library practices and analyze needs and establish policies and best practices for the long-term protection and access to digital materials of all types, both created by or acquired by the library. While the library’s focus has been on text and images, digital collections to be preserved may also include data, audio-visual resources, Web pages, and ephemera. Working with specialists at other partner institutions, the Digital Preservation Librarian will also support the development of the preservation program for the HathiTrust.
                      • Assist in the ongoing development of requirements and specifications, including formats and metadata, for digital material the library solicits, accepts, or purchases into its collections. Advise both library staff and external content creators on strategies and the practical implementation of those specifications.
                      • Advise library staff and digital initiatives on all phases of the life cycle of digital content with the aim of long-term retention and access; provide training or orientations. Represent and champion digital preservation interests across the library, the university, and to the community at large.
                      • Prepare proposals for external funding for digital preservation projects. Prepare specifications for vended services that support the digital preservation program; evaluate responses to proposals for such services and make recommendations for selecting vendors; and act on behalf of the library as a technical liaison on preservation issues to vendors providing digital materials. Represent the University Library in cooperative projects or programs in digital preservation.
                      • Research and advise the library on contingency plans against threats to the digital collections, such as industry changes to file formats, natural disaster, and security breaches.
                      • Stay current on developing technologies, standards, and practice in preservation of digital collections; recommend responses to these developments through periodic alerts, summaries, reports, and revisions to policies and procedures. Represent the University Library in forums on digital preservation at the campus, regional, national, or international level.
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                        "Towards an Open Source Legal Operating System"

                        Posted in Open Access on February 25th, 2009

                        Katie Fortney has made "Towards an Open Source Legal Operating System" available on SSRN.

                        Here's the abstract:

                        An informed democratic society needs open access to the law, but states' attempts to protect copyright interests in their laws are a major roadblock. This article urges broader access, analyzes the implications and legal arguments for and against copyright in the law, and considers strategies for access advocacy.

                        Also see "New Draft Paper on States Claiming Copyright in their Laws and Access to Legal Research" for an interview with Fortney.

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